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Farron fights forest sell off

January 25, 2011 1:26 PM

TF rural

South Lakes MP, Tim Farron, has tabled a motion calling on the government to consider alternative options to proposals to sell off areas of public forest in England which would potentially include Grizedale Forest.

Many local residents have become involved in the online savelakelandsforests.org.uk campaign over fears that the government are planning to sell off forests in Cumbria. Tim, who will be attending the rally to 'Save Grizedale Forest' on Sunday afternoon, has stated that it is wrong to sell off large swathess of our woodlands, instead insisting that it is vital for the Government to consider better alternatives.

These other options include retaining ownership of woodlands in public hands but renting commercial forests to other organisations on long leases, thereby ensuring savings for the taxpayer as well as protection for our forests. Tim is also calling on the government to consider transferring woodland areas to environmental groups such as the Wildlife Trusts.

Speaking today Tim said: "We appreciate the need to save money in these difficult times but it is wrong to threaten access to woodlands and to threaten centuries of rural heritage and the biodiversity of Cumbria's forests."

"Sunday's rally is a fantastic opportunity for our community to come together and speak out on an issue which is important to us. There must be ways that the government can save money during these desperate times as well as saving our forests. It is vital that we avoid making short term decisions now that will the countryside long into the future."